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Thread: Strange headstock: homemade, or Harmony/Regal/Kay?

  1. #1
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    Default Strange headstock: homemade, or Harmony/Regal/Kay?

    I wasnít a bidder, but I was curious about this mandolin that just sold on the Goodwill site. It looks a lot like a Ď40s or Ď50s Harmony/Kay/Regal, particularly like the Stellaís, but the back of the headstock isnít something Iíve ever seen on a production mandolin: https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Item/74864071

    Anyone recognize this? I canít tell if the angle of the photos make everything look a little off, or if itís maybe homemade. Just curious. The F style tuners might be replacements, or if itís homemade they might be the ďoriginal!Ē

    -M

  2. #2
    Registered User nmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strange headstock: homemade, or Harmony/Regal/Kay?

    Interesting. I can say this much: it didn't come from any of the big Chicago manufacturers (Harmony, Kay and Regal), at least not with that headstock on it. I'm tempted to rule out Oscar Schmidt as well. While the headstock looks like some sort of home-made deal, the rest of the instrument looks mass-produced. It looks like a genuine ebony fretboard, as opposed to the dyed pearwood or maple that you often see on instruments like this, but I'm not 100% certain.
    www.OldFrets.com: the obscure side of vintage instruments.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Strange headstock: homemade, or Harmony/Regal/Kay?

    If you look closely at the shot that shows the end of the fretboard, it looks like it was painted or died black. There is a blob of black on the face, and a hint of light wood where the fretboard meets the body. But the painted binding and everything else scream mass produced. I never thought it might be a franken-mando!

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strange headstock: homemade, or Harmony/Regal/Kay?

    Over the years I've seen guitars and mandolins like this and I've never figured out who made them. The binding is always painted on and they look more like toys than instruments. Some have Made in the USA stamped inside them.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Strange headstock: homemade, or Harmony/Regal/Kay?

    It looks somewhat akin to an United of NJ instrument. They always had MADE IN USA stamped inside.

    The tuners have come from a mandolin that had them recessed into the headstock. This mandolin obviously needed new tuners and somebody shaved the headstock down to accommodate these units which would have had too short tuners posts if this action had not been peformed.

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